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Title Resource manipulation for control of alien invasive grasses in the Fynbos Biome

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Short title Renosterveld restoration

Author(s) Ruwanza, S.(1); Musil, C. F.(1); Esler, K. J.(2)

Presenting author Ruwanza, S.(1)

Institution(s) (1)Global Change Group, South African National Biodiversity Institute
(2)Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University

Keywords Restoration, Invasive species, Resource manipulation, Ex-arable lands

Abstract Restoration of renosterveld invaded by alien grasses may be aided by the artificial reduction of soil N and P levels. This premise was tested by applying systemic and contact herbicides to reduce alien grass biomass and sugar and gypsum to reduce soil N and P contents. Sugar additions negatively affected the growth and photosynthesis of invasive grasses and also that of resident and introduced native species known to be adapted to nutrient impoverished soils. Also, no affect of sugar additions on soil total N content was observed, a possible consequence of bacterial immobilization of N in a form unavailable to plants.

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Ref. No. 653